On January 3rd, the 43rd Dakar started in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The so-called motorsport marathon covers over 7500 km and will end on January 15th. The competition is also known as one of the toughest rallies in the world.
Goodyear Supports Kamaz-master's Strong Start
This 2021 edition, every kilometre of the specials is entirely new to last year’s route and testing once more the nerves of the teams and robustness of their equipment. On top, the organiser reduced the number of hi-speed sectors to take out a potential competitive advantage of some more powerful vehicles.
The first half of the race turned out to be a rough start for some of the teams resulting in five exits in the Truck segment during the first six stages, including crew N° 502 led by Viazovich Siarhei of MAZ Autosport, bronze champion in Dakar 2020. Also defending DAKAR champion and winner of Dakar 2020, Andrey Karginov of KAMAZ-master faced technical issues during the first two days dropping to 10th position and showcasing a true fighter spirit enabling to move up to 8th position in the general ranking just before the rest day in Ha’il on January 9.
This year, the winning KAMAZ-master team is once more performing very strong, claiming six out of seven stage victories and two to three podium places so far. After seven stages, the factory team is occupying the full top 3 in the general ranking. Dimitry Sotnikov (crew N° 507) is leading with a head start on teammates Shibalov (+00 45’ 46”) and Mardeev (+01 05’ 06”). Competitors Ales Loprais, INSTAFOREX LOPRAIS PRAGA (+01 21’ 47”) and Martin Macik, BIG SHOCK RACING (+01 42’ 01”) complete the top 5.
“The setting of the Dakar 2021 is even tougher than the previous one. Never seen such close racing especially on the 4th stage. Every stage is representing new challenges including high sandy dunes, easy to get trapped and rocky canyons or dry riverbeds, drivers, trucks and tyres are tested to the maximum every day. Once more the standard Goodyear OFFROAD ORD tyres showcase their extraordinary performance in terms of grip and durability. Our crews can focus entirely on the race without having to worry about the tyres, no matter how harsh the racing conditions, they keep moving forward.” says Vladimir Chagin, team manager of KAMAZ-master.
“With their 1,150bhp and 9.5 tonnes the KAMAZ-master trucks are one of the most incredible vehicles at the Dakar. During the hi-speed sections they can reach speeds up to 140km an hour. The sections demanding a more careful ride can challenge the crews with sharp stones hidden under the sand and an important part of the rally is on rocky surfaces. Comparable to the daily operations of our customers, Goodyear products are supporting the team in getting as quick as possible from A to B or from start to finish, without any surprise.” says Maciej Szymanski, Marketing Director for Goodyear Commercial Europe.
For Goodyear, these extreme usage conditions are a unique opportunity to test the robustness and performance of its standard products and advanced carcass technology used for the development of off road and on road ranges.
KAMAZ trucks entirely develops, designs and assembles the racing trucks and selected Goodyear as their trusted tyre partner. Since their first participation in the Dakar Rally back in 1990, the team obtained their 17th victory in 2020.